Monday, September 12, 2011

The magic number 5

I am happy to post that I have been regularly running at least 3 days a week for almost 6 weeks. This has been a long time coming - and certainly took longer to get into a regularly routine post-baby than I had anticipated. I had several motivating factors to finally get me off the couch:

1)Runners World. While visiting my BIL in early July, he asked how running was coming along. Thumbs down was my report. I asked him how he was liking the Runner's World subscription we got for him and we got to talking about how the magazine gets to be cyclical, but that it is always good for motivation. He gave me a few old issues to take home and one of the articles I read was getting back into running after injury. NOW, I am not saying that having a baby = injury (although there are some injured parts in the process!), but the idea was the same: It can be hard getting back into it after taking a long break. One of the things the article mentioned is that you have to let go of your past accomplishments. This sounds very "duh" but after reading that, I started NOT keeping track of how far I had run. I deliberately avoided routes where I knew the mileage. I tried to run 30 minutes each time I went out and that was it. It was a good strategy for me - It made me less competitive with myself.

2) Ironman P. A former colleague of mine requested a lunch date over the summer. We met for lunch and I was eager to find out how her training for the Ironman Triathlon was going. After she finished explaining her training routine to me, she asked how running was going for me. "Ughhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. It's not." However, after talking shop with her and then watching her finish an IRONMAN, I was motivated to get back out there on a regular basis. (Not that I am doing an Ironman...ever.)

3) As mentioned in (1), just reading about running is very motivating to me. I already mentioned my reaction to reading a post by imrunnerchica. I also enjoy reading a vignette out of Mile Markers every so often.

4) New gear! New clothes are always a motivator! I bought two new sports bras and a pair of socks at the Lululemon outlet in Orlando and won a High Miles Running technical shirt.

That was the motivation I used to get out there on a regular basis starting in July. Of course, as any runner will tell you, once you start getting into a groove and getting your legs back, you start to crave running and it becomes motivation in and of itself. Last night, I finally broke the 5 mile mark.

Five miles is a big deal in my mind, starting from way back when I got into running freshman year of high school. Throughout my high school cross country career, we never ran more than 5 miles, and when we did run 5 miles, it was a big deal, often rewarded with Gillys custard. For the longest time, 5 miles was my "long run". It wasn't until I took the Marathon/Distance Training 231 class in college that I ran past 5 miles. I've since run many runs over 5 miles, but starting back up again post-baby, the 5 mile mark seemed very out of reach...until last night. I was running for a while and was pretty excited thinking that I maybe hit the 5 mile mark. I got home and gmapped it and the route ended up being 5.02 miles. YES!

Then I started with the big talk and told Nate I was running the NY Marathon in 2012. (We had been watching 9/11 documentaries on and off throughout the day). Oh boy. 26.2 is a long way from 5, but it's all downhill from here!

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